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Feral Bells by Peta-Jo
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Feral Bells

by Peta-Jo

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Member:shelleyraec
Title:Feral Bells
Authors:Peta-Jo
Info:Paperback; Createspace
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Australian author

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Feral Bells by Peta-Jo

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With humour and heart, Feral Bells (formerly title Wedding Etiquette for Ferals), explores the complications of family, ambition and falling in love.

Feral Bells is written primarily in the third person from the perspective of twenty something Lydia Vermont, alternating with the first person point of view of Chris Taylor. While Lydia was thrilled to escape provincial Townsville for the bright lights of Queensland's capital city, Chris is eager to finally be returning to his family's farm after three long years of study. Their paths initially cross in the most unusual of ways and from then, the pair seem to be on an inevitable collision course, but reconciling their dreams appears to be an impossible task.

Lydia certainly wasn't looking for love. Apart from a lousy boss or two, she has her dream job and takes pride in her modern city apartment far from the Townsville population of 'ferals'. It's not until her newlywed, and pregnant, younger sister leaves her cheating husband on her wedding night and comes to stay, that she starts to wonder if her busy, sophisticated city life is all she dreamed of.
And when tragedy strikes, Lydia is forced to reassess her priorities.

On the verge of returning to the family farm on the outskirts of Townsville in Charters Towers to take over for his father, Chris is bemused by yet another elfin beauty fleeing his roommate's questionable hygiene the morning after. Just a few day later he is shocked to discover the mystery woman is partnered with him in his sister's wedding. Her taste in men should be enough to frighten him away, but his attraction doesn't seem to be ruled by logic.

Feral Bells is a character driven novel and Peta Jo's has created strong, well rounded leads, supported by minor characters who have their own personalities. The author retains the distinct rhythm of Australian speech and its regional accents, demonstrating a talented ear for dialogue. I thought there were a couple of plot dead ends, such as the surprise appearance of Lydia's father, but overall the story pieced together nicely and I appreciated the epilogue to tie up the loose ends.

While I want to avoid spoilers, I have to mention that Peta Jo approaches a particularly sensitive subject within the storyline with a genuine appreciation for the trauma surrounding it. Having been through the experience more than once I felt that the author treated the matter with the respect it deserves, but rarely gets, in either fiction or real life.

A satisfying fiction debut from a fledgling Australian author to watch, Feral Bells is an engaging novel of romance, drama and humor, touching on several relevant contemporary issues. ( )
  shelleyraec | Nov 13, 2012 |
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Aust'n. Romance. Hilarious yet touching, Peta Jo's debut novel uncovers the trials faced by every young woman trying to make something of herself, and leaving home to do it. Lydia Vermont's life isn't all that complicated. Work hard, have a nice apartment and don't end up back in Townsville, rules that have served her well. That is until her sister, newly wed, pregnant and on the fast track to divorce, moves in. Now family obligations, interfering friends and a disastrous one-night stand have Lydia in a spin. Is this the life she really wants? It's only after tragedy strikes, Lydia realises the rules no longer apply and she must come to grips with new boundaries and new possibilities.… (more)

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